Legislation introduced in Virginia by State Delegate Mark Levine would implement an additional sales tax on all firearm and ammunition purchases. House Bill 960 is awaiting a committee referral.
Take Action Today! Virginia sportsmen should call their state delegate and ask them to vote NO on HB 960. Sportsmen can contact their delegates by using the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center Directory.
The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act, popularly known as the Pittman-Robertson Act, was approved by Congress in 1937. The act provides funding for the selection, restoration and improvement of wildlife habitat, and for wildlife management research. Funds for the act come from an 11-percent federal excise tax on sporting arms, ammunition and archery equipment, and a 10-percent tax on handguns.
HB 960 would require all individuals who purchase a firearm or ammunition to pay a new tax in addition to the taxes already incurred by the Pittman-Robertson Act and state sales taxes. The funds from this new tax would be earmarked for a student mental health and safety fund, which would be used to hire full time school counselors, social workers and school psychologists.
Although this may be a worthy endeavor, society at large is responsible for a public-health funding, including mental health, of which there are many potential causes, including drugs, abuse, cultural differences and other trauma. Sportsmen should not be the ones paying the whole freight for such a societal failing. If there is a need for such funding it should come from all taxpayers, and should not single out law-abiding gun owners.
“The author of HB 960 has decided it is in the best interest of the state of Virginia to put more financial burden on sportsmen when they attempt to lawfully buy a firearm. He either believes law-abiding sportsmen are to blame for poverty, mental illness and drug trafficking, and should fund mental health care for all because of that, or he’s simply attempting to make the purchase of firearms prohibitively more expensive,” said Jacob Hupp, associate director of state services for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Virginia members must be steadfast in their mission to stand against the onslaught of anti-gun and anti-hunter legislation coming from the Virginia House and Senate.”
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.